Newly-appointed Kerala Blasters head coach Terry Phelan could not have asked for a better start to his ISL campaign. The Englishman guided his team to their second win in the Indian Super League this season on Wednesday evening.
Blasters moved up to the seventh spot after their 2-0 victory over leaders FC Pune City at the JLN Stadium in Kochi. Goals from Chris Dagnall [45'] and Sanchez Watt [60'] gave the home side the much-needed boost going ahead in the game, and also in the tournament.
The home side really put on some display in the first half as they were carving out chances after chances through the attacking trio of Sanchez Watt, Mohammed Rafi, and Chris Dagnall.
Rafi tried to increase his goal tally in the ISL but was unable as his header from a close distance off Josu Currais' corner saw the ball go over the post in the half an hour mark. And prior to that, Indian star defender Sandesh Jhingan also had a go at the goal, but even he saw his shot go over the bar.
One of the best chances of the half fell for Dagnall in the 28th minute, as the Englishman forced a top-class save from FC Pune City custodian Steve Simonsen.
However, the English goalkeeper remained a mere spectator as he saw his compatriot blast the net just before the half time for the opening goal of the game. Rahul Bheke delivered a neat ball from the right flank in the box, and Roger Johnson completely mistimed his header.
The ball fell for Dagnall on rebound, and he didn't miss it from such a close-range. It was 1-0 in favour of the hosts at half time.
Watch the goal from Dagnall HERE.
In the hour mark, the home side doubled their lead as Dagnall became the assistant this time around to release Sanchez Watt, and the ex-Arsenal man twisted and turned and left Simonsen a spectator once again. The shot was low and the English custodian hardly moved from his position.
Watch the goal from Sanchez HERE.
Kalu Uche tried his best for the visitors in the first half but seeing that he could not make an impact, David Platt brought on Yendrick Ruiz in the second half to give Pune the much-needed attacking teeth.
Even that didn't help much, as the shots on goal didn't just come off from the visitors tonight.